Virage Logic achieves 20 percent performance improvement on UMC's 0.13-micron MPU process using patented phase-shifting technology from Numerical Technologies
Fremont, CA - May 15, 2002, Virage Logic (NASDAQ: VIRL), a global leader in embedded memory, today announced the industry's first commercially available high-performance, phase-compliant embedded memory cores. Beginning with its proven ASAP product family, Virage Logic will now supply memories for UMC's 0.13-micron MPU, high-performance CMOS logic process that utilizes patented phase-shifting technology from Numerical Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NMTC) to generate transistor gates as small as 70 nm. The company plans to extend support for this process to the rest of its embedded memory product lines.
"Virage Logic is committed to providing the fastest memories on the market. Supporting advanced process technology is critical to achieve this goal," stated Krishna Balachandran, director of product marketing at Virage Logic. "After characterization on the phase-shifted 0.13-micron MPU process, we found that our memories are 20 percent faster than on a similar 0.13-micron process. As a result, we believe that phase-compliancy will be increasingly beneficial for our customer base, particularly as smaller process generations become mainstream."
Previously, UMC had licensed Numerical's patented phase-shifting technology for the production of gate lengths as small as 70 nm on the foundry's 0.13-micron and smaller processes, for select customer designs. To support customers who take advantage of UMC's advanced technology, Virage Logic has built and characterized phase-compliant memories that leverage this high-performance process technology. The companies plan to work together to certify future Virage Logic products for phase-shift compliance.
With sub-wavelength effects, if optical proximity correction and phase shifting are not considered in the system-on-a-chip (SoC) intellectual property (IP) and the design process itself, design issues and problems may become apparent during the mask manufacturing and wafer lithography process. In some cases, these sub-wavelength issues may require major changes to a chip's architecture in order to ensure that a chip can be manufactured. For example, in addition to ensuring that a design meets standard process rules, a designer must also ensure that 0 and 180 degree phase-shift structures can be strategically placed on opposite sides of specific features in order to generate a manufacturable design. If this is not possible, the design group must either sacrifice chip performance, or go through expensive, resource-intensive and time-consuming iterations. If however, the necessary changes are made to the SoC IP and the design up front, these problems can be avoided. By ensuring phase-compliancy, Virage Logic is ensuring that its customers will be able to target the most advanced process technology available on the market.
"Virage Logic's decision to incorporate phase-shifting technology into its embedded memory product lines is an example of the forward-looking vision that has assured them a leadership position in their market," stated Michael Sanie, director of marketing and business development at Numerical Technologies. "The performance results that they're encountering with phase-shifting are consistent with what we've seen in silicon at multiple customer sites. We are very pleased to work with them to provide their customers with easier access to this technology."
Numerical's production-proven phase-shifting technology enables semiconductor manufacturers to reliably and cost-effectively fabricate sub-wavelength integrated circuits (ICs) using available optical lithography equipment. The company's phase-shifting technology is the only commercially available strong phase-shifting technology that is currently used in IC production. It has been used to fabricate transistors as small as 9 nm, the world's smallest transistors manufactured with 248-nm lithography equipment. Numerical's phase-shifting technology is covered under U.S. Patent #5,858,580.
About Virage Logic
Virage Logic is a global technology and market leader in embedded memory. To meet customer design goals with the highest level of quality, Virage Logic products are silicon proven and production ready, and optimized for area, power and speed. These products include embedded memory cores, which are critical components of communications, consumer and computer products including switches, routers, modems, cellular phones, set-top boxes, HDTVs, DVD players and PCs. In addition, the company offers software tools and custom memory design services. The company's customers include fabless semiconductor companies who use pure-play foundries and other semiconductor companies. Founded in January 1996, the company has over 200 employees and is located at 46501 Landing Pkwy., Fremont, Calif., 94538. Telephone: (877) 360-6690 (toll free) or (510) 360-8000. Fax: (510) 360-8099.
Numerical Technologies, Inc., the world's leading provider of subwavelength lithography-enabling technology, develops and markets proprietary technology, software tools and services that enable the production of subwavelength integrated circuits (ICs)-ICs with feature sizes that are smaller than the wavelength of light used to create circuit patterns on silicon. Numerical's products and industry alliances form a comprehensive design-to-silicon solution that enables the creation of smaller, faster and more power-efficient ICs using available manufacturing equipment. Numerical?s customers include the world's top semiconductor companies, design automation tool vendors, semiconductor equipment suppliers and photo mask manufacturers. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at http://www.numeritech.com